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Bernard gets back on target

BERNARD BROGAN has revealed that he had "a long chat with Pat Gilroy" after Dublin's win over Wexford in the Leinster semi-final two Sundays ago and now hopes the discussion has helped resolve the kinks in his game in the run up to the provincial final showdown with Meath on July 22.

The 2010 Footballer of the Year endured an uncharacteristically poor individual display for the second year in succession against the Slaneysiders, managing just a single pointed free whilst contriving to shoot five wides and dropping two balls short into the welcoming arms of Wexford 'keeper, Anthony Masterson.

Gilroy replaced Brogan with Eoghan O'Gara in the 62nd minute and writing in his blog for the Vodafone Dub Hub (www.hill16.ie/thedubhub), the two-time All Star admitted: "Personally, things didn't go to plan for me. And looking back now, I know the mistake I made was that I was trying too hard and, in fairness, Wexford put on a lot of pressure."

Delving deeper into the problems which afflicted his performance, Brogan deduced that his "shot selection actually wasn't bad all the time but it was just bad execution and I felt better after I had a long chat with Pat Gilroy after.

"He wasn't unhappy with what I was trying to do, it was just clear that my kicking was tired and laboured.

He added: "It was a good lesson for me - one that I intend to heed. I play my best football when I don't try to force things in the match. I like to play off the cuff and enjoy my football. When you do that and when you work hard the chances can fall to you then."

With Diarmuid Connolly suspended, Brogan is expected to be joined by O'Gara in Gilroy's starting XV for the clash with Meath, with further selection issues in midfield - where Michael Darragh Macauley thrived after his half-time addition - and in defence, following Cian O'Sullivan's successful cameo.

"It was a tough battle," Brogan concluded, "that asked questions of the Dubs and I think the team showed character and bottle to hold our nerve, refuse to panic and play our way out of trouble and get an important win and be back in a Leinster final," concluded the St Oliver Plunkett's/ER clubman.

DARRAN O'SULLIVAN has been ruled out of Kerry's team for their visit to Mullingar on Sunday owing to injury, opening the door for a return for Donncha Walsh in one of four changes from the Munster loss to Cork. KERRY (SF v Westmeath): B Kealy; M ó Sé, A O'Mahony, K Young; T ó Sé, E Brosnan, B Maguire; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Declan O'Sullivan, D Walsh; J O'Donoghue, C Cooper, K Donaghy. SLIGO (SF v Mayo): P Greene; N Ewing, J Martyn, R Donovan; C Harrison, M Quinn, P McGovern; S McManus, T Taylor; A Costello, P Hughes, B Egan; M Breheny, A Marren, D Kelly.
LAOIS (SF v Monaghan): E Culliton; C Healy, K Meaney, J Kavanagh; D Strong, J O'Loughlin, C Boyle; B Quigley, C Begley; D O'Connor, B Sheehan, G Walsh; R Munnelly, P Clancy, C Kelly. CORK (SH v Wexford): A Nash; S O'Neill, D Cahalane, B Murphy; T Kenny, C Joyce, E Cadogan; L McLoughlin, P Cronin; C Lehane, C McCarthy, N McCarthy; P O'Sullivan, L O'Farrell, P Horgan. WEXFORD (SH v Cork): E Martin; P Roche, M O'Hanlon, K Rossiter; R Kehoe, C Kenny, D Stamp; D Redmond, D Lyng; J Guiney, G Sinnott, D O'Keeffe; P Morris, S Banville, R Jacob.